Green Building News

Martin Holladay Named GBA Editor

Posted on December 18, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Martin Holladay, Green Building Advisor's senior editor and one of the website's original developers, is now its editor.

The announcement came from Rob Yagid, the editorial director at Fine Homebuilding magazine, who oversees the website for its Newtown, Conn., corporate parent, The Taunton Press.

Cool Roofs Cut Urban Water Consumption

Posted on December 15, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that the widespread use of reflective roofing has the potential to save cities millions of gallons of water while also lowering ambient air temperatures.

Outdoor water consumption would drop by as much as 9% with the widespread use of cool roofs, according to climate simulations for 18 counties in California. If all of the buildings in Los Angeles County had reflective roofs, water savings would equal 83 million gallons per day in reduced demand for landscape watering.

Tax Bill Would Deal a Blow to Renewables

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Republican tax bills now in the hands of congressional negotiators would weaken a variety of federal incentives for renewable energy, but a lot is riding on a final version of the bill the GOP hopes to pass by the end of the year.

South Australia Plugs in World’s Largest Battery

Posted on December 8, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The world's largest lithium ion battery is up and running in South Australia where officials hope it will help reduce power shortages during blistering summer weather that lies ahead.

The state government announced last week that the football-field-sized battery has been installed at the Hornsdale Power Reserve, where it will store energy generated at an adjacent wind farm. According to a statement from South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill, the battery is "history in the making" and will ensure that the state has backup power to get it through the summer.

Chinese Decree Alters Recycling Picture

Posted on December 5, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Recycling plastic, paper, and metal is fundamental to a sustainable lifestyle, and for years China has given U.S. consumers a helping hand by accepting millions of tons of waste plastic every year. That practice is about to end.

A New Multifamily Will Put Passive House Performance to the Test

Posted on December 1, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A planned multifamily project in Minneapolis will give designers a chance to see just how much of a difference Passive HouseA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. construction makes when it comes to energy consumption, if not tenant comfort.

Developer Plans a ‘Sustainable City’ Near Boston

Posted on November 28, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A massive real estate development project called Union Point is taking shape on 1,400 acres of land about 12 miles south of Boston on what was once the South Weymouth Naval Air Station. Developers say that the community will become a living laboratory for "smart city technologies and sustainability solutions."

Are Higher Construction Costs Looming for Canadians?

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Tougher efficiency requirements could add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of building a new house in Canada, business and government officials said.

World’s Biggest Passivhaus Building Opens

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The tallest and largest PassivhausA residential building construction standard requiring very low levels of air leakage, very high levels of insulation, and windows with a very low U-factor. Developed in the early 1990s by Bo Adamson and Wolfgang Feist, the standard is now promoted by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany. To meet the standard, a home must have an infiltration rate no greater than 0.60 AC/H @ 50 pascals, a maximum annual heating energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (4,755 Btu per square foot), a maximum annual cooling energy use of 15 kWh per square meter (1.39 kWh per square foot), and maximum source energy use for all purposes of 120 kWh per square meter (11.1 kWh per square foot). The standard recommends, but does not require, a maximum design heating load of 10 W per square meter and windows with a maximum U-factor of 0.14. The Passivhaus standard was developed for buildings in central and northern Europe; efforts are underway to clarify the best techniques to achieve the standard for buildings in hot climates. structure in the world, the 26-story House at Cornell Tech in New York City, has won certification from Germany's Passivhaus Institut after completion earlier this year and is now home to hundreds of university students and faculty.

Vermont Sets New Noise Rules for Wind Turbines

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The adoption of new rules limiting noise from wind turbines was intended to meet the requirements of legislation passed last year, but neither side seems especially happy with the outcome.

Wind advocates think the new regulations are too strict and complained they will make it tough for Vermont to meet a goal of getting 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, The Associated Press reported. Opponents said turbines will still be too noisy.

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